When You Need a Reset Button

Between the cereal spills, the sour attitudes, the frustrating math assignments, the sibling rivalries and countless other things that can seriously throw our homeschool day off track, sometimes we just need to stop and refocus. We need a do over! We need a big reset button. You know, like the big red button from the Staples commercials. Wouldn’t that be convenient? Just set it on the kitchen counter and smash it every time the day starts to go south and the chorus of complaints begin to rise from our little darlings. Cause let’s be honest, how much actual learning can happen when the atmosphere is tense. Not much. 

Well, I don’t have a big red button for you, but I have found some tricks to help derail those crumby days and hopefully get them on a better track. They are my little “reset buttons”. But simply put, they are things that bring life to our day. Moments that make us smile. They refresh us and bring us back together after an argument or a tough morning. I hope they will inspire you to have a list of your own “reset buttons”.

#1  Have a Dance Party!

“Alexa, play Rend Collective!”

This is the easiest way to get my kids to stop everything. The math assignments are left at the table and the toddler and the 5 year old stop fighting over that red marker and we just take a dance break! You’d be impressed at the moves we come up with (or maybe a little concerned)! 

A few songs and plenty of laughter later, our attitudes are much better. Mine included! And it took less than 10 minutes! Now we are (fingers crossed) ready to tackle a few of the day’s challenges. 

The joy of the Lord is our strength!

So make your dance playlist! Do a few stretches! Crank it up when you need to reset your day… and maybe sometimes when you don’t! 


#2 Invite Them into the Kitchen

“This day could use some muffins!”

Baking together has always been one of my kids favorite activities. And inviting them to help me bake a treat is a quick way to brighten a grumpy day. 

Of course this “reset button” can be a little more time and energy consuming, but if it gets us all together and gives us something to smile about then it’s worth it. And sometimes the simplest snack can change the course of the day. Even just spreading some peanut butter on graham crackers can be wonderfully effective.  

To streamline the process, I try and have our go-to recipes on hand so I don’t find myself taking 20 minutes to search through Pinterest for the right one. If you’re interested in some free printable recipe cards you can find some here!

For some wonderful recipes go to ambitiouskitchen.com

#3 Read Some Books Together

“I’ve got some Mo Willems! Let’s find out if elephants can dance.”

An invitation to snuggle up on the couch together and read some books is exactly what some days need. Correction: It’s what everyday needs! 

Although my intention is to have read aloud times each day, it doesn’t always happen. But, my oh my, when I bring out the stack of library treasures or some old family favorites, my kids will drop everything to listen. Even my most stubborn kiddo can be caught eaves dropping just around the corner; his arms may be crossed, but he is not willing to miss out!

This is by far the easiest way to inject our day with some goodness, as long as mom picks the books… because I know my kids aren’t the only ones who will fight over which book to read! 


#4 Take School Outside

“Grab your things and meet me on the patio!”

The fresh air, the change of scenery, the sunshine, the obligatory breaks to dig in the dirt and find little critters… We just need this sometimes. Our souls need this! And it’s one of the very reasons I wanted to homeschool in the first place: To allow us the freedom to get outside when it calls to us. It lightens our mood and brightens our day. 

Now, I know that some us don’t live where this is an option all year long, but when the weather is right we can embrace it! 


                   .          .          .          .          .


“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason 


I hope these ideas have given you inspiration, or at least have gotten you thinking about what might work well in your own homeschool. The key to a reset button is the invitation for your kids to join you in something enjoyable and life giving. It has got to be something your children will get excited about. Your kiddos may not be the dancing type, but you’re their momma and you know them best! What would make your crew stop in their tracks and change their attitudes?

I hope your journey is full of joy and grace.